Set on the banks of the tranquil River Barrow , between Portarlington and Monasterevin , the ivy clad ruins of Lea Castle , with its towered keep and outer walls leading down to the river , is an impressive sight.
It is a real hidden gem on any Ireland tours.
The castle dates back to the thirteenth century when it was the stronghold of Maurice Fitzgerald , a member of the powerful Anglo-Norman family who controlled the area.
In 1315 it was burned by Edward Bruce ( brother of King Robert the Bruce of Scotland ) , who had been invited to Ireland by the Irish chieftains to create trouble for the Anglo-Normans.
The castle later provided refuge for Silken Thomas ( another Fitzgerald ) after he rebelled against Henry the Eighth.
Then in 1650 , like most castles in the area , it fell foul of Oliver Cromwells forces after they had taken Dunamase.
Well worth a visit on any tours of Ireland....stand in the ruins and take in the history !!